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FOOD FUN: Pretzel Doughnuts

Pretzel Doughnuts

For National Pretzel Day, have some pretzels on your doughnut. Here’s the recipe from ACosyKitchen.com.

 

Use pretzels in a different way on April 26th, National Pretzel Day. Consider everything from mini pretzels and pretzel sticks to big, soft pretzels as:

  • As a garnish for scrambled eggs, oatmeal, soup, yogurt (minis or crushed)
  • Instead of croutons on soup (minis or crushed)
  • Plain or toasted, for breakfast (big, soft)
  • Sliced for a sandwich (big, soft)
  • As a topping for potatoes or vegetables (crushed)
  • As a topping for ice cream (minis or crushed)
  • As a topping for cake, pudding, brownies or other dessert (minis or crushed)
  • As a crust for chicken or fish
  • Any other way you like
  •  
    If you come up with something nifty, let us know.
     
    Here’s a recipe for Caramel Pretzel Doughnuts from Betty Crocker.

    Alternatively, here’s an iced doughnut shaped like a pretzel.

    And here’s a recipe to bake your own soft pretzels. Perhaps add a doughnut glaze (recipe below). Have fun with it!

     
    Having a good time? There’s also National Soft Pretzel Day on October 26th.

     
    PRETZEL HISTORY

    Thanks to creative monks, man has enjoyed 15 centuries of pretzel snacks. Here’s the history of pretzels.
     
    RECIPE: DOUGHNUT GLAZE

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Hot water
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan; heat over low until warm. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the milk and whisk slowly until thoroughly combined.

    2. REMOVE from the heat and set over a bowl of hot water to keep the glaze from hardening. Dip the doughnuts (or pretzels) into the glaze, one at a time, and set on a rack placed in a half sheet pan to drip. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Chess Pie

    Chess Pie

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01 data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/lemon chess pie goodeggsSF 230r

    Pumpkin Chess Pie

    Tangerine Chess Pie

    Top: Classic Chess Pie from Zulka Sugar. Second: Lemon Chess Pie from Good Eggs | SF. Third: Pumpkin Chess Pie from Midwest Living (recipe). Bottom: Tangerine Chess Pie from Southern Living (recipe).

     

    Chess Pie is a venerable Southern recipe that likely has nothing to do with the game of chess.

    It’s a one-crust, sweet, rich custard pie made with basic ingredients found in every kitchen: butter, eggs, flour, milk, sugar and vanilla—plus two distinctive ingredients, cornmeal and vinegar. A one-bowl recipe, simply stirred, Chess Pie, which dates back to Colonial times, has remained popular over the generations.
     
    THE HISTORY OF CHESS PIE

    An early version appears in Martha Washington’s Booke Of Cookery, comprising recipes handed down from her first husband’s mother, Frances Parke Custis, possibly at her marriage in 1750. The first known recipe called Chess Pie appears in the 1877, in Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping by Estelle Woods Wilcox.

    We will probably never know how Chess Pie got its name, but here are the four prevailing theories:

  • Gentlemen were served the pie as they retreated to a room to play chess.
  • It’s Southern dialect: for “jes’ pie” (It’s just pie).
  • Its “chest pie”—“chess pie” when drawled. Because the pie is so high in sugar, it kept well at room temperature in the pie chest.
  • Perhaps the most academic theory, a Lemon Chess Pie was so similar to the English Lemon Curd Pie. The latter, often called “cheese” pie, evolved to “chess” in the U.S.
  • Add your theory in the comments section.
  •  
    Early variations added lemon juice or pie spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Some added flaked coconut or toasted pecans. Some substituted part of the milk with buttermilk (buttermilk or lemon juice provides acid that can substitute for the vinegar). When cocoa powder became available, it was whisked right in to make Chocolate Chess Pie.
     
    RECIPE: CLASSIC CHESS PIE

    You can save time with refrigerated pie crusts, or make your own. This classic recipe from Southern Living saves time with a refrigerated crust.

    Other Southern Living recipes include Chocolate-Pecan Chess Pie, Grapefruit Chess Pie, Lemon Chess Pie, Orange Chess Pie and Tangerine Chess Pie. Some use a traditional flaky pie crust, some use a shortbread crust.

    We also found a lovely Pumpkin Chess Pie, a Cookie Chess Pie with Oreos and numerous other variations. Have a favorite flavor? Incorporate it into a Chess Pie!
     
    Ingredients

  • 1/2 package (15-ounce) refrigerated pie crusts
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  •  
    For A Cocoonut Chess Pie

  • 1 cup toasted flaked coconut
  •  

    Preparation

    1. FIT the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, according to package directions. Fold the edges under and crimp.

    2. LINE the crust with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 425° for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the weights and foil; bake 2 more minutes or until golden. Cool.

    3. STIR together the sugar and the other ingredients except the eggs, until blended. Then add the eggs one at a time, stirring well, followed by the optional coconut.

    4. POUR the mixture into the pie crust. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes. After 10 minutes, to prevent excessive browning, shield the crust edges with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield—very useful if you make a lot of pies. Cool completely on a wire rack.
     
    WANT MORE PIE?

    Check out our Pie & Pastry Glossary and pick something new.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Fun Recipe For April Fool’s Day, Like Mashed Potato Donuts

    Because it’s April 1st, you may think that it’s a joke. But these Mashed Potato Donuts are real, and really good.

    The recipe was developed by Jeremy Spector of Wonder City Coffee & Donut Bar at The Brindle Room in New York City. It was sent to us bythe Idaho Potato Commission.

    If you don’t want the salted caramel glaze (top photo), simply garnish the donuts with cinnamon sugar (bottom photo).

    Here’s another Mashed Potato Donut recipe from King Arthur Flour.

    TIP: This doughnut dough can be refrigerated overnight. Equally good doughnuts will result from making the dough and frying the donuts the next day as frying the same day.

     
    RECIPE: MASHED POTATO DONUTS

    Ingredients For 24 Donuts

  • 2-1/2 Idaho potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons fat (like Crisco)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Oil for frying
  •  
    Ingredients For 2 Cups Salted Caramel Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  

    Mashed Potato Donuts

    Mashed Potato Donuts

    Top: Mashed Potato Donuts, photo courtesy IdahoPotato.com. Bottom: Mashed Potato Donuts from TasteOfHome.com.

     
    Preparation

    1. BOIL the potatoes, drain and mash in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, then the orange zest. Set aside.

    2. STEEP the milk, cloves, nutmeg and fat over low heat in a small pot. Strain and discard the cloves.

    3. WHISK the eggs; very slowly whisk in the steeped milk. Pour into the potato mixture and stir to combine. Sift in the dry flour, baking powder and salt and gently stir to just combine. Rest for 1 hour.

    4. MAKE the salted caramel glaze while the dough rests. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the sugar, stirring constantly until it turns golden brown. In a separate pan, bring the cream to a simmer. Slowly pour the cream into the sugar until combined. Whisk in the salt. Cool to room temperature and set aside.

    5. HEAT the oil to 360°F. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll to 1/3-inch thickness.

    6. CUT the doughnuts and fry them in the oil for 4 minutes, turning once. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Drizzle with the salted caramel glaze and serve.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Lemon Bundt Cake With Cream Cheese

    What’s better than a bundt cake? A bundt cake you can make in one bowl, made richer with cream cheese.

    This recipe from Betty Crocker starts with a boxed cake mix. While our mother would turn up her nose at the idea of a boxed mix, there’s nothing wrong with a plain boxed mix. It saves time by mixing the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder.

    While the recipes re tweaked to add antimicrobial agents like alpha tocopherol for longer shelf life; distilled monoglycerides as emulsifiers; maltodextrin, sodium stearoyl lactylate, xanthan gum and cellulose gum for batter viscosity; dicalcium sulfate as a calcium supplement. While you can read plenty on smaller websites about why you should avoid additives, they’re derived from natural ingredients and FDA-approved. The choice is yours.

    Where we draw the line is with artificial flavors. They simply don’t taste as good as the real deal. That’s why this yellow cake mix, to which fresh-squeezed lemon juice is added, will taste so much better than a lemon cake mix with artificial flavors.

    The recipe requires 10 minutes of prep time 2 hr 20 min Total Time 12

    RECIPE: Lemon Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

     
    RECIPE: LEMON CREAM CHEESE BUNDT CAKE

    Ingredients For The Cake (12 Servings)

  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel (from 2 large lemons)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 3 eggs
  •  
    Ingredients For The Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  •  

    lemon-bundt-cake-glaze-bettycrocker-230r

    Microplane Zesting Lemons

    Top: A rich Lemon Bundt Cake made in the elegant Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Heritage Bundt Pan. Photo and recipe courtesy Betty Crocker. Bottom: It’s easy to zest citrus with a Microplane (it also grates Parmesan cheese in a snap).

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Generously spray a 10- or 12-cup Bundt or fluted tube cake pan.

    2. BEAT the cake ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed for about 1 minute, scraping the bowl constantly. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes. Pour the batter into the pan.

    3. BAKE for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then turn the cake out upside down onto a cooling rack or heatproof plate, removing the pan. Cool completely for 1 hour. Place the cake on a serving plate.

    4. MAKE the glaze: In medium bowl, beat the powdered sugar and lemon juice with a whisk, a little at a time, until a thick glaze forms. (You may not need all the juice.) Pour the glaze evenly over cake. Store the cake loosely covered until ready to serve.
     
     
    FOOD FUN: The History Of The Bundt Cake.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Easter Egg Dessert Pizza Or Fruit Platter

    fruit-pizza-easter-egg-sugarhero-230

    This Easter egg “dessert pizza” is glazed fruit atop baked cookie dough. Photo courtesy Elizabeth LaBau | Sugar Hero.

     

    Pastry chef Elizabeth LaBau of the blog SugarHero.com decided back in 2013 to create an egg-shaped dessert “pizza” for Easter: a cookie dough base topped with glazed fruit.

    Looks delicious, doesn’t it? Here’s the recipe.

    We always bake a cake with Easter decorations, and also serve a fruit salad. So three years ago, we adapted the “pizza” idea to a fruit platter.

  • Year 1: We took a tray and piped royal icing in an Easter egg shape, a border to contain the fruit. You could arrange the fruit without one, but as guests serve themselves, the border keeps the shape of the egg (not to mention, it keeps the grapes from rolling away).
  • Year 2: We had an inspiration to go back to the original recipe’s cookie dough, but use it raw to build the border. Unless you have a very steady hand, it’s much easier to shape strips of cookie dough into an egg than to pipe the shape. We used a tube of egg-free sugar cookie dough. Some people nibbled on the dough, some didn’t.
  • Year 3: We used chocolate chip cookie dough. Not surprisingly, most of it was nibbled up.
  •  

  • Year 4: This year, we’re using cream cheese frosting for the border. It’s easier to pipe and tweak (fix the shape) than royal icing. A recipe is below.
  •  
    Truth to tell, even with three years of practice, Ms. LaBau’s work is still far lovelier than ours. But we never claimed to be a professional pastry chef—just a professional pastry eater.

    RECIPE: CREAM CHEESE FROSTiNG

    Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  •  
    Note: To frost a cake, you need a larger amount of icing. For vanilla cream cheese frosting, combine: 16 ounces cream cheese, 2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter, 1-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted after measuring) and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the ingredients and place in a piping bag and pipe an Easter egg shape.

    2. TIP: If you don’t want to pipe freehand, cut an egg shape from foil or parchment and use it as a guide. The trick is to fold the foil in half and cut half an Easter egg, so the halves will be perfectly symmetrical when you unfold it.

      

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    RECIPE: Double Coconut Easter Layer Cake

    Coconut Easter Layer Cake

    Easter Layer Cake

    Top: A classic Easter cake with coconut “grass” and Easter eggs. Bottom: You can tint the batter different colors for a surprise. Photo courtesy Reynolds Kitchens.

     

    Coconut cake has become an Easter tradition. Adults and children alike are tickled pink by the green coconut “grass” and Easter egg candies.

    This recipe from Reynolds Kitchens is “double coconut,” made with coconut layers as well a coconut frosting.

    RECIPE: DOUBLE COCONUT EASTER LAYER CAKE

    Ingredients
     
    For the Cake

  • 3-1/4 cups of flour
  • 1-/34 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 cups of canned coconut milk
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
  • Optional: food color
  •  
    For the Frosting

  • 12 ounces of softened creamed cheese
  • 1 pound of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of coconut extract
  • 1 pound of sifted powdered sugar
  • 4 cups of sweetened shredded coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • Garnishes: small Easter egg candies
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment.

    2. WHISK together the egg whites and shredded coconut in a separate bowl. Add in the coconut extract and then the egg whites and shredded coconut mixture in 3 batches into the butter-sugar mixture.

    3a. MIX the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and add into the creamed butter-sugar mixture, while alternating with the coconut milk but beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Be sure to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl often.

    3b. If you want to tint the layers, divide the batter into thirds and tint two of the three with a different pastel color.

    4. DISTRIBUTE the cake batter evenly into 3 cake pans. Bake the cake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm in the center. Cool the cake pans on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

    5. WHIP the butter and cream cheese in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Mix in the coconut extract and powdered sugar until completely blended.

    6. TOSS together in a slider storage bag 1-1/2 cups of the shredded coconut and 4 to 6 drops of green food coloring, until the coconut becomes green. Frost the cooled coconut cake in layers with a small amount of frosting. After each layer has been frosted, sprinkle on ½ cup of shredded coconut and press into the frosting before adding on the next layer of cake.

    7. FROST the entire outside and top of the cake and use the remaining shredded white coconut to coat the outside of the cake.

    8. FINISH the top of the layered coconut cake by sprinkling on the green coconut shreds, but take care to not get any of the shreds around the outside. Garnish the top of the cake with assorted Easter egg candy and chocolate.

     

    LAKER CAKE BAKING TIPS

    These tips for creating the perfect layer cake are from Reynolds Kitchens:

  • Start by carefully reading the recipe. Baking is scientific, and requires ingredient precision to achieve the best results. For example, if you combine all your ingredients and later realize your eggs needed to be beaten separately, your cake could come out mealy.
  • Cool the layers upside-down. When the layers are done baking (a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly), flip them upside down onto a cooling rack so the cake tops are flat. Otherwise, your cakes may cool with a rounded top, which must be leveled with a long serrated knife.
  • Use applesauce to lighten the calories. Substitute plain applesauce evenly for vegetable oil in the recipe. The applesauce will maintain the cake’s moisture and flavor but will decrease the unwanted fat and calories.
  •  
    FROSTING TIPS

     

    Cake Icing

    Icing a cake is easier on a pedestal. Photo courtesy SugarSweetBakery.

  • Allow the cake to cool entirely prior to frosting. A warm cake will cause the frosting to melt into a messy, thin layer on top and virtually no frosting on the sides.
  • Use a generous amount of frosting between layers and ensure that it is evenly distributed. If you are filling with custard, fruit purée or jam, first create a barrier of frosting around the top rim of the layer, to keep the filling from spilling out of the cake.
  • Place the cake on its pedestal prior to frosting. First use 4 to 5 pieces of wax paper to completely covering the pedestal, allowing some to hang over the pedestal sides. Frost the cake and remove the wax paper.
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Carrot-Banana Cake

    Like carrot cake? Like banana cake? This recipe from Melissa’s combines both in one yummy recipe. While carrots and bananas are available year-round, this recipe says “spring” to us.

    The cake can be prepared 1 day ahead, covered with a cake dome and refrigerated.

    RECIPE: CARROT-BANANA CAKE

    Ingredients
     
    For The Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup table sugar
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup organic carrots finely grated
  • 1 cup pineapple crushed in juice
  • 1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed (about 1 large overripe banana)
  • 3/4 cup pecans chopped
  •  
    For The Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for garnish
  • Garnish: ground cinnamon additional
  •  

    Carrot Banana Cake

    Shelled Pecans

    Top: Carrot-Banana Cake from Melissas.com. Bottom: Pecans are smoother than walnuts (no “bite”), but you can use walnuts if you prefer. Photo courtesy Blog.Etsy.com.

     
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the cake. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.

    2. SIFT the first 4 ingredients into a medium bowl. Whisk the oil, table sugar, brown sugar and eggs in a large bowl until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients. Add the carrots, pineapple, banana and pecans and blend well. Transfer batter the to the pan.

    3. BAKE until a tester inserted near center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cake stand in pan 10 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack and cool.

    4. MAKE the frosting. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and cinnamon in medium bowl until smooth. Spread the frosting over cake. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies

    Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies

    Dutched Cocoa Powder

    Top: Sweet and salty, chocolate and caramel: How can you resist? A recipe and photo from The Baker Chick. Bottom: Dutch process, or Dutched cocoa, is processed with alkali to neutralize cocoa’s natural acidity. It is milder in flavor and lighter in color than non-Dutched cocoa powder. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

     

    Thanks to The Baker Chick for helping us celebrate National Chocolate Caramel Day, March 19th. We made her wickedly good Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies.

     
    RECIPE: SALTED CARAMEL PRETZEL BROWNIES

     
    Ingredients For 24 Brownies

    For The Pretzel Crust

  • 4 cups small pretzels, crushed into small pieces
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, melted
  •  
    For The Brownies

  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  •  
    For The Toppings

  • 1 cup salted caramel sauce (purchased or homemade)
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Fit a 9×13 pan with foil or parchment paper. Overlap two sheets, including two tabs that hang over the sides, so you can easily lift the brownies out of the pan.

    2. ADD the crushed pretzels to the bottom of the pan and drizzle with the melted butter. Set aside while you make the brownie batter.

     
    3. WHISK together the cocoa powder and boiling water in a large bowl, whisking quickly until just combined. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Add the oil, melted butter, eggs, yolks and vanilla, whisking after each addition. Add the sugar, mix until well-combined. Sprinkle the flour and salt over the batter and then fold in, mixing until smooth and well incorporated while not over-mixing.

    4. POUR the caramel sauce over the batter in lines going vertically, then horizontally. Use the tip of a knife or skewer to swirl the batter back and forth.

    5. BAKE for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let brownies cool completely before cutting into squares.

     
      

    Comments

    EASTER: Speckled Egg Malted Milk Cake

    Easter is early this year: just 10 days after St. Patrick’s Day, on March 27th. This year we’re passing on our beloved coconut-covered lamb cake in favor of this elegant caker. Who knows: Next year, maybe we’ll make one of each.

     
    RECIPE: SPECKLED EGG MALTED MILK CAKE FOR EASTER

    Wow guests with this impressive cake inspired by malted milk candy eggs. It was developed by Heather Baird for Betty Crocker.

    Prep time is 40 minutes, baking, frosting and assembly time is 2 hours. You’ll also need a new, stiff-bristle paint brush to “fling” the chocolate speckles. (It’s fun!)
     
    Ingredients For 10 Servings

    For The Cake

  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  •  
    For The Frosting

  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • Liquid blue food color
  •  
    For The Speckling Chocolate

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  •  
    For The Phyllo Nest

  • 1/3 cup kataifi* (kah-TAY-fie, shredded phyllo dough)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 speckled candy-coated malted milk egg candies
  •  

    speckled-egg-malted-milk-cake-2-230

    Athens Foods Kataifi

    Top: An Easter cake delight by Heather Baird for Betty Crocker (photo courtesy Betty Crocker). Bottom: Make the nest with kataifi, shredded phyllo dough (photo courtesy Athens Foods).

     
    ________________________
    *Shredded phyllo (fillo) dough, kataifi, looks like shredded wheat. In addition to Greek pastries, it is often used to make edible bird nests. Look for it in a Greek or Mediterranean market or wherever Athens Foods products are sold; or buy it online.

     
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oven to 350°F. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside.

    2. WHISK together in large bowl the cake mix and malted milk powder. Add the remaining cake ingredients; beat with electric mixer on low speed until well combined. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans.

    3. BAKE for 22 to 28 minutes or until the layers spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool the cakes in the pans on cooling racks for 5 minutes. Turn the layers out onto cooling racks and cool completely, about 30 minutes. Level the cakes using a large serrated knife or cake leveler, as needed.

    4. MAKE the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until incorporated. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and beat 1 minute longer. Add the blue food color, 1 drop at a time, beating until a light blue color is achieved.

    5. FILL and and frost the cooled layers. Refrigerate the frosted cake 1 hour or until the frosting is dry to the touch.

    6. MIX the baking cocoa and vanilla in small condiment bowl. Load a new (unused) stiff-bristle paint brush with the cocoa mixture. Using your fingers, flick the loaded brush bristles toward cake, creating a splatter pattern. Re-load the brush and cover the entire cake with chocolate speckles. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes.

    7. MAKE the phyllo nest: Heat the oven to 375°F. Butter 1 muffin cup in regular-size muffin pan. Tear off 1/3 cup portion of kataifi and place it in the muffin cup in a circular nest shape. Gently brush the phyllo nest with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown around the edges. Gently remove the nest with a fork; cool on a cooling rack.

    8. ATTACH the cooled nest to the cake with a dot of frosting. Place the 3 speckled egg candies inside nest. To serve, bring the cake to room temperature. Store the cake loosely covered with plastic wrap.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    A St. Pat’s special: green mint chocolate chip cookies. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    A tip from McCormick: Use green food color to tint minty chocolate chip cookies for your favorite leprechauns. If you don’t like mint, you can substitute vanilla extract.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 10-12 minutes.

    RECIPE: GREEN MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

    Ingredients For 3 Dozen Cookies

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons green food color
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, food color and peppermint extract; mix well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    3. DROP by heaping tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.

    4. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookie edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
     
    TIP FOR GROWN-UPS

    Add some Crème De Menthe or Irish Cream Liqueur to that chocolate milk!

     
      

    Comments



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